A dramatic meteor shower took place over the Urals area of Russia today with large fireballs and smoke tails seen in the sky and loud explosions heard. (See video below.) Sightings were reported in the cities of Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen. Widespread meteorite debris hitting the ground caused injuries to several hundred people and damage to buildings (see second video below.)
- Meteor Strike in Russia – CitizensInSpace.org
- Meteorite hits central Russia, more than 500 people hurt – Reuters
Update: It was just a cosmic coincidence. The meteoroid that caused the shower came from a much different orbit than asteroid 2012 DA14 and so they are not related: Astronomers: Russia’s Meteorite Is Not Related To Today’s Near-Earth Asteroid Fly-By – Popular Science.
From reading the articles today, some definitions are in order. A meteoroid is the rock traveling in space, a meteor is the bright flashy trail as it streaks through the atmosphere. and a meteorite is a chunk of a meteoroid that made it to the ground without vaporizing.